Deukom claims Icasa had “no real argument” for refusing to grant it a pay-TV licence.
Harold Bopalamo, Deukom director, says Deukom could have taken Icasa up on various process issues.
“For example, the ECA (Electronic Communications Act) came into being half way through the licensing process, which created various complications in the awarding of the licences. We have, however, chosen not to pursue those process issues and have decided to focus our legal efforts on the fact that Icasa denied us a licence because we did not make provision for locally produced content in our application,” he says.
Deukom argues that the Act gives Icasa the right to grant exemptions from various licence conditions if a reasonable argument is presented.
“Given that it would be absurd for Deukom to try to produce German content in South Africa for German speaking people living here, Deukom believes it should have been granted an exemption from having to produce content locally,” he says. “Or at the very least, Icasa could have granted the licence on condition that Deukom paid a percentage of revenue into a fund because of the lack of locally produced content as is stipulated in the regulations.”
Bopalamo says Deukom is asking the court to overturn Icasa’s decision not to grant Deukom a licence. Deukom is currently awaiting a court date.
Sekgoela Joel Sekgoela, Icasa manager of media and stakeholders liaison, confirmed to TheMediaOnline that Deukom has pursued the matter with the Johannesburg High Court after Icasa rejected its application for a subscription broadcasting licence.
He also confirmed that Caxton had pursued legal action against the regulator. Caxton is !_LT_U href=”http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4332539″ target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4332539″reportedly!_LT_/U challenging the awarding of a pay-TV licence to MultiChoice based on limitations on foreign ownership in the ECA.
“I cannot comment on either cases as both are currently sub judice. The courts will have to have their say before Icasa will comment to the media on these cases,” Sekgoela says.